The Lost Museum of Georgetown University

Stephen Richard Kerbs Exhibit Area

Have you heard of the Coleman Museum: the lost museum of Georgetown? The Coleman Museum existed for almost a century, then somewhat mysteriously disappeared.

In recent years, a number of campuses have been rediscovering lost museums, from Brown University's Jenks Museum to Harvard University's Philosophy Chamber. Georgetown’s lost museum remains to be recovered. What was here, and for what purposes? How did this museum begin, evolve, and end? How did the Coleman Museum fit and/or defy trends in museum history? After its closure, what happened to items in its collections?

This exhibition can be a striking object lesson around cultural collections related to the interlinked evolution of museums, universities, and disciplinary thinking. It showcases some of the fascinating material in Georgetown’s University Archives and Art Collection related to the Coleman Museum and other iterations of this now-defunct but once-impressive museum.

Kerbs Lost Museum Exhibition

museum building


Muse statuettes

Caption for Muses


Update on museum construction

Coleman Museum construction update

Update on museum in Woodstock Letters


Lost Museum-ornithology

Lost Museum-bones and feathers

Lost Museum-Plat Plan detail

Lost Museum-Chess set


Lost Museum-Journal article, page 1

Lost Museum-Journal article, page 2

Lost Museum-Journal article, page 3

Lost Museum-Journal article, page 4

Lost Museum-Journal article, page 5


Lost Museum-snowshoes

Lost Museum-Journal article, page 6

Lost Museum-Coleman Museum cases photo, showing parts of the mineral collection, and model ships above the cases

Lost Museum-Coleman Museum cases photo, showing part of the taxidermy collection

Lost Museum-Journal article, page 7

Lost Museum-Museum moved


Lost Museum-Ships

Lost Museum-Fisheries Commission

Lost Museum-Fish

Lost Museum-items disappeared

Lost Museum-Birds to Smithsonian

Lost Museum-Smithsonian thank you letter


Lost Museum-Arrow points

Lost Museum-Stuffed birds

Lost Museum-Mineral Collection

Lost Museum-Wine Chest

Lost Museum-Smithsonian thank you for minerals

Lost Museum-minerals disposition


Lost Museum-Mollusks to Smithsonian

Lost Museum-Box Contents

Lost Museum-Osprey and Eagle


Lost Museum-Tusk article

Lost Museum-tusk article

Lost Museum-Buffalo head


Lost Museum-Journal article, page 8

Lost Museum-Bell


Lost Museum-Probably Stolen



Curated by: Gretchen Henderson